Green tea enthusiasts reach for their favourite brews for a number of reasons. Some of them are looking for alternatives for coffee, while others are searching for decaffeinated drinks. Does green tea contain caffeine? Yes, although… not all of its kinds! In our office, almost no one drinks coffee anymore, as we adore the taste of green tea and we reach for matcha, when looking for stimulation. Those, who are trying to avoid caffeine, aren’t left with empty hands as well. They simply reach for delicious green teas with low caffeine content – hojicha and kukicha. Seems intricate? We’re happy to explain everything within the following article.
Green tea and caffeine
Theine and caffeine are actually the very same substance. Caffeine goes by many names, depending on where it occurs. And thus, the caffeine found in fruits and beans of guarana is called “guaranine”. The one derived from yerba mate – the dried, ground leaves of the Paraguayan holly, used to make a tea-like infusion – is known as “mateine”. And theine is nothing but caffeine found within the leaves of green tea bushes.
Green tea is therefore actually characterized by positive caffeine content. What is its content within green tea infusion? Is there enough caffeine within green tea brew to provide the effect of stimulation and increased concentration? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is: it depends on the type of green tea in question. There are many types of green tea, each characterised by different properties, flavours, colours of the brew or the content of certain chemical and mineral compounds, including the discussed caffeine.
What kind of green tea is the most powerful stimulant?
Among all kinds of green tea, matcha is the undisputed leader, when it comes to the content of nutrients and other chemical compounds, including caffeine. Matcha is made of extremely finely ground green tea leaves, undergoing the process of shading with traditional bamboo mats during their cultivation. Such shading method forces the tea bushes to increase the chlorophyll production. Due to its powdered form, the tea leaves are eaten whole during matcha consumption, which allows one to absorb the whole range of ingredients found within the tea bushes – including the stimulating caffeine.
Green tea with no caffeine?
If someone prefers traditional leaf teas, the lovers of stimulation are most frequently recommended sencha tea, rich in caffeine and of a metabolism-boosting effect. It owes its high caffeine content to the early harvest, during which the leaves dedicated for its production are obtained. Slightly weaker, although still noticeable, is the stimulating effect of bancha (Japanese everyday tea) and genmaicha (the caffeine content of which is reduced compared to sencha due to the addition of roasted rice, which gives it a buttery aftertaste).
For the ones, who are not advised to consume caffeine or otherwise seek to avoid it, kukicha and hojicha are the matches made in heaven. Kukicha is a tea, the composition of which consists of dried green tea sprigs with a low theine content, instead of traditional caffeinated green tea leaves. Hojicha is a kind of tea, one of the production stages of which is the roasting of its tea leaves. The effects of such roasting processes consist in an unusual, smoky aroma and almost entirely complete decaffeination.